Datsun redi-GO Road Test Review
The entry level small car segment has been dominated majorly by the Maruti Suzuki Alto. This has been the largest selling passenger car model since long. Now Datsun wants a fair chunk of this segment with its latest small car offering the redi-GO. Conceived, designed and engineered at their Global Design Center Japan and here in India the Datsun redi-GO will be its third offering for India after the Go and the Go+. We travel from the City Of Dreams (Mumbai) to the City of Joy (Kolkata) to get behind the wheels of this cute looking small car and find out all about it. So sit back and read our comprehensive review of the Datsun redi-GO.
Food for Thought:
Datsun has had a rich heritage of nearly 80 years that started making cars in 1931. This Nissan owned Car Company entered India in 2012 when the brand was revived globally with India being one of its major markets and hence the brands rebirth also happened here.
It’s no secret that Datsun redi-GO shares the platform and underpinnings with the Renault Kwid but the similarity ends there. We personally saw the clay model of the redi-GO at the Global Design Center during our visit last year to Tokyo Japan, the final production model is exactly the same to the clay concept model and that is very remarkable as not many cars make it to final production from concept in the same design. As per Datsun, the redi-GO is an Urban Cross, well that is because of its body dynamics, mainly because of its tall boy stance and best in class ground clearance. The redi-GO stands at 3,429mm in length, has a overall width of 1,560mm. This car stands 1,541mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,348mm and a ground clearance of 185mm. Comparing that to the segment best seller the Maruti Suzuki Alto that stands at 3,545mm(L) X 1,490mm(W) X 1,475(H) with 2,360mm of wheelbase and 160mm ground clearance.
As per Datsun they used `Yukan` that means Brave & Bold in Japanese as the design theme on the redi-GO. The face gets the Datsun family D cut hexagonal center grille with thick chrome lines surrounding the honey comb design black grille with the Datsun blue logo in the middle. The headlights are flushed into the bodyline and have an extended bold shape to them that extend way back on the side fenders.
The front bumper comes with a lot of character lines that make the design flow from the sides towards the center grille. The lower mid section of the bumper is left unpainted in matte black finish to enhance the Urban Cross look. A very neat inclusion is that of the LED Day Time Running lights, these are 6 white LED bulbs in a strip placed in place of the fog lamps, for me this is the highlight to the face of the redi-GO. The bonnet flows upwards mating with the windshield.
The side fenders are flattened out with character lines that give it a sharp look. Another character line flows back from the headlights towards the wing mirrors. The side profile is very tall and a large area taken up by tall doors and big windows and a neatly blacked C pillar area on the door. A strong character line flows back at an sharp angle starting from just behind the fender and ending on the tail lamp. The waistline too gets a soft bulge that incorporates the body colored lift type door handles. Windows get the blacked out effect while the large sized wing mirrors are left unpainted in matte black finish.
The redi-GO drives on JK Tyres Ultima Neo tubeless of 155/80 R13 spec on steel rims with a star shape 6-spoke plastic wheel cap on it. The 185mm of ground clearance is clearly evident when you see the car from the sides. You get neatly integrated unified mud flaps in black on the wheel arch.
On the rear the neatly integrated tail lamps give a strong resemblance of the Volvo S60. The boot lid gets smooth character lines. The boot lid also gets a chrome strip running horizontally on the lower end. The rear bumper is highly placed and starts just where the tail lamp ends. The mid section on the rear bumper is left unpainted in matte black finish. You also get a set of round reflectors placed on either sides of this bumper while the exhaust gets round chrome tip on it.
The redi-GO looks extremely attractive and catchy on the outside. The designing is trendy and very sporty. The car looks futuristic and appears to be a segment or two higher from its looks. Paint quality and fit-finish is very good and the car is a complete head turner wherever we drove around Kolkata. Full marks to the Datsun design team for this.
First thing you notice on entering the redi-GO is the ease of ingress and egress this due to the tall boy design and large opening, big doors. Once you step inside you instantly notice the spacious feel due to the large glass area in here. The dash is in single color grayish black finish with a lot of curved shape to it.
The instrument cluster is the same as that on the Go and Go+ with the speedo with blue glow design and red needle on it. The MFD gets a digital RPM meter and digital fuel meter along with trip and fuel efficiency meters embedded in it. This MFD has a soft orange backlit glow to it.
The steering has a three spoke design to it with a small silver insert on the bottom center part of it. The three closable round AC vents get slim silver surrounds around them. The center dash has the fixed triangular AC vent that is mainly there for the rear passengers. You get a single DIN MP3 CD and FM head unit with USB and AUX support to it, this unit comes with a remote unit too.
Under the audio unit is the single zone climate control with manual controls. The center dash assembly gets a glossy piano black insert surrounding here. The redi-GO gets closable glove box and another deep storage area just above it. There also is a neat storage area just under the climate control unit on the center dash and another on the extreme right side behind the steering. These neat storage spaces can stock up your mobile phones, purse, toll money etc very ergonomically. The center console gets a twin can holder along with the front power window buttons. The gear shifter is similar to the one on the Go and the Go+, comes with reverse lock on it. The insides of the doors get the door panels with some exposed metal opening with neat looking running lines pattern on it.
The seats get fabric upholstery with printed pattern designing on the middle. The front seats get unified headrests integrated on them. Front seats offer good under thigh support and are large in size offering excellent comfort level. The rear seats get a couple of integrated headrests. Seating here at the back is very comfortable and there is excellent space for two adults with some space for the third as well. The rear passengers get manual rotary window glass winder along with a tiny storage area on the door pad. Noteworthy here is the availability of tons of head room due to the overall height of the car.
The cabin feels large and the fit finish is good and at par with its rivals. The redi-GO comes with 222 liters of boot space that can hold 2 large suitcases and if the need arises you can fold down the rear seat to extend the boot.
Engine – Transmission – Drive:
The redi-GO comes powered with the same 800cc 3-cylinder petrol engine that powers the Renault Kwid. This is a 799cc 3-Cylinder engine with 54 PS at 5678 RPM and 72 Nm of peak torque at 4386 RPM. Datsun engineers have re-tuned the engine to suit the drive dynamics of the redi-GO and mated it with a recalibrated 5-speed manual transmission.
You notice the high seating position instantly as you sit on the driver’s seat. Start the engine and there is no sign of any unruly vibration or roughness felt. Shift to the first gear and the car moves ahead with peppiness. The gear shift is good with precise shifts. The speed sensitive electric power steering’s feedback is good with the driver always feeling in control of the car. The gear ratios are tuned more for traffic and city conditions with the first two ratios being short and the next three being long ones.
The clutch action is soft and easy on your foot. Datsun claims a class leading fuel economy figure of 25.17 kmpl on the redi-GO and has tuned the engine specifically and accordingly. The ride quality is excellent with Mac Pherson struts with lower transverse links and hydraulic shocks in the front and twist beam with coil suspension and twin tube hydraulic telescopic shocks at the rear doing a mighty good job. The super ground clearance helps the car glide over big speed breakers and also bad road patches with ease.
Power delivery is good and once you are in its power band the car is fun to drive in traffic and busy road conditions. The front disc and rear drum brake setup does a neat job in stopping the vehicle and are reassuring in panic conditions. The Datsun redi-GO comes with standard drivers side air bag on the fully loaded variant we drove.
With the redi-GO, Datsun wants to make a strong statement of what it is actually capable of. The redi-GO is a excellently designed car that turns heads wherever it goes. On the inside the car is built to a budget and the price sensitive segment but all the needed amenities and features are on it. Comfort level is good with best in class headroom and ground clearance. The redi-GO impressed us in a big way on its overall drive and feel. This is the car to watch out for, we are sure that Datsun has done its homework and will price it well around the big player the Maruti Alto making this a very stylish and bold option car model in its segment.
Datsun redi-GO Photo Gallery:
Pic Credits: Dr. Anand Narvekar